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Get to know the Advisory Council: Q & A with Becky Sapper

In the Wisconsin Sea Grant online newsroom, we recently introduced four new members of the Advisory Council. Council members help shape Sea Grant’s future, enabling it to better serve the people of Wisconsin.

Now, here on our blog, we’d like to give people a chance to get to know those four newcomers better through Q & As. Our third installment features Becky Sapper, who directs the Wisconsin Master Naturalist Program. The program is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, and Sapper is based in Ashland, Wis.

You can find our previous Q & A session with Deb DeLuca here and with Madelyn Leopold here. Stay tuned to the blog for our fourth and final installment, which will feature Lori Tate.

Becky Sapper (submitted photo).

Becky Sapper (submitted photo).

Do you have a favorite spot in the Great Lakes, or favorite natural area?

I have lived on the shores of Lake Superior for over 25 years, so the waters of Lake Superior provide my sense of place. But, more specifically, my favorite places on the Big Lake are my fishing holes, and I can’t disclose their locations! But I do like to take friends and family to Houghton Falls and Little Girls Point.

What drew you to say “yes” to serving on the Advisory Council?  

While I was in a previous role with Extension, I was fortunate to collaborate with several Sea Grant staff during the designation of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve back in 2010.  I have the utmost respect for those individuals and the work Sea Grant has done both in Wisconsin and at a national scale. It was an honor to be asked to join the Advisory Council.

Is there a special aspect of Sea Grant’s work or mission that speaks to you the most?

I like that Sea Grant’s efforts include both research and education priorities.  It’s important that we continue to learn more about our Great Lakes, but we also need to understand why it’s important and how that impacts local communities. Sea Grant’s education and outreach efforts really work to tie the people of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes together in a natural way.

Where would you like to see Sea Grant headed in the near future? 

Sea Grant’s strategies are already very comprehensive, but in the future I’d like to see Sea Grant continue to strengthen their work with emerging issues that impact people living in and visiting our coastal communities. We often take our water-rich state for granted. I think it’s important that Sea Grant’s efforts are relevant and relatable for those who value and rely on the Great Lakes for work and for play.